Motherhood Katherine Dieckmann

Motherhood Katherine Dieckmann
Occasionally, urban slice-of-life dramedys that detail a moment in time as bigger picture reflections (The Daytrippers, Pieces of April) can have a magical, almost profound sensibility whether they focus on conversation and characterization (Before Sunset) or spatial conflict and twists of fate (Run Lola Run, Happenstance). And while some might whine about gentrification (Medicine for Melancholy), others find a poetic lyricism in the space, the moment and its possibilities (Friday Night). Motherhood does none of this, featuring a day in the life of Eliza Welsh (Uma Thurman) as she blogs, whines about 9/11, bitches about cell phone etiquette, flirts with a bike messenger and shops for her daughter's birthday party. It's episodic and meandering, never going anywhere useful or remotely interesting, doting mostly on the influx of cash on Greenwich Village and the loss of self associated with parenthood, as detailed through Eliza's dormant career ambitions as a writer. Since the script is so prosaic and superficial, we never get the sense that she would have anything of note to say anyway, especially since her wittiest observation throughout the film involves her best friend's use of a child's toy as a masturbatory aid. In fact, just about everything comes off hackneyed and convoluted, as conversations start and end with single perspective rants about urban insensitivity, giving an overall feeling of undergraduate angst. In the interview segments and feature commentary included with the DVD, writer/director Katherine Dieckmann (a liberal artist with poorly applied lipstick and deliberately clashing thrift store patterns) talks about the beauty of motherhood inspiring her and about presenting a character that would challenge the audience. Unfortunately, aside from butting out cigarettes in the hallway of her apartment building, nothing about Eliza Welsh challenges much of anything. Then again, maybe it's a New York thing intended only for those within the vacuum. Perhaps the best thing about the DVD is the interview with Minnie Driver, where she describes her character as little more than a sounding board for Thurman while indifferently shrugging her shoulders. It's always fun when actors don't feel the need to embellish or put on pretentious airs. (Alliance)